In the fourth quarter of 2014, pay-TV providers in aggregate added a net 101,000 subscribers, according to MoffettNathanson analys Craig Moffett. Year-over-year, the industry sub numbers was essentially flat, declining by a scant 0.1%. Cable operators lost 170,000 subs (declining 2.2%), while DirecTV and Dish Network added 86,000 (up 0.1%) and telcos added a net 185,000.
However, factoring in new household formation in the period — the fastest growth in 10 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — roughly 1.4 million American households either canceled pay-TV over the trailing 12 months or never subscribed, Moffett said in a research note. Since 2010, the industry has cumulatively lost (or failed to sign up) 3.8 million households, he estimated.